9 DAY CORDILLERA HUAYHUASH TREK

The expedition in this stunning cordillera is considered one of the most pristine and beautiful in the world and involves walking 140km at 4,300m or higher. The trail around the cordillera is always at the bases of beautiful snow-capped mountains, numerous glacial lakes, small villages, huge landscapes and wild valleys. This is a high altitude trip and can be rigorous at times but worth the effort and sweat when you see what nature has in store for you here.

FROM

US$ 0-.00 /person

ITINERARY
Difficult

Huaraz / Cuartelhuain (4,170m)

Departure from Huaraz south to Matacancha, a 5 hour drive. After 50km of tarred road, we turn onto a dirt with our first views of the Cordillera Huayhaush in the distance. A further 70km and we arrive at Matacancha. We set up camp on the riverbanks with the stone huts and corals of the local farmers as our neighbours.

Trail Note

5 hours (120 km) driving / elevation change  (+1,079m)

Acclimatisation

It is important to do a few days of acclimatisation day treks before embarking on this stunning yet difficult trek.

Moderate

Cuartelhuain (4,170m) / Cacanapunta Pass (4,690m) / Mitucocha (4,270m)

We start our journey with a 3-4 hour ascent and cross our first pass at Cacanapunta Pass at 4,690m. The highest point of the pass offers views of the valleys and mountains on both sides with incredibly beautiful natural panoramas. Equally, the descent gives us views of the Caliente Valley and its marshes and hot springs that run into the Atlantic Ocean. We pass the granite block of Cerro Chincana via the Tuctupampa plain on the shores of Mitucocha Lake (4,720m) where we’ll be camping below the peaks of Rondoy, Jirichanca and Ninashanka.

Trail Note

6 – 7 hours trek / 10 km / elevation change  (+520m / -420m) / Maximum Altitude: 4,860m

Mitucocha (4,270m) / Carhuac Pass (4,630m) / Carhuacocha Lake (4,138m)

We leave the campsite to move onto our next panoramas. Ascending the Carhuac Pass/Yano Punta at 4,630m via some grassland. Descending along the slopes of the mountains, we have a few minutes to appreciate the vizcachas before continuing the descent to the turquoise lake of Carhuacocha at (4,270m). This is an interesting place to practice a bit of trout fishing where the tranquile waters reflect the massive form of mount Yerupaja that rises above 6,000m. We set up camp on the lakeshore for the night.

Trail Note

5 – 6 hours trek / 10 km / elevation change (+360m / -492m)

Carhuacocha Lake (4,138m) / Siulapunta Pass (4,830m) / Huayhuash (4,350m)

At dawn, the sun rises slowly, painting the icy giants a variety of colours that are all reflected in the smooth waters of the lake. Meanwhile, the packed mules leave on another trail. We start the trek today along the edge of Carhuacocha Lake, ascending the valley wedged between three lakes to the foot of mount Siula Grande. Before reaching the pass, we have a view that dominates the valley with its lakes and rugged mountains. The Siulapunta Pass at 4,830m opens a wide panoramic horizon for us.

Continuing, we descend with the view of a green marsh always inhabited by Andean birds, to the Carnicero Lake. A few kilometres further we arrive at Huayhuash campsite (4,350m). In this area, the local farming families mainly speak Quechua.

Trail Note

6 – hours trek /  14.2 km / elevation change (+692m / -480m) / Maximum altitude: 4,880m

Huayhuash (4,350m) / Portachuelo de Huayhuash (4,780m) / Viconga (4,385m)

After energising ourselves in the morning, we start with a light ascent which after a few kilometres brings to the Mitucocha Lakes where without fail there’ll be some ducks busy diving. Reaching the Portachuelo de Huayhuash pass at 4,780m, we enjoy views of the Cordillera Raura with its softly hewn mountains and great glaciers. Although the area does not have many visitors, it’s ideal for snow skiing with mild slopes and accessibility to various mountains. There’s a short descent through a small swamp and grassy plain when after 2 hours, we can see Viconga Lake (4,453m). On the lakeshore is a local family who specialises in raising Alpacas from where we continue a mild ascent that’s ideal for better views of the lake. Soon we arrive at the hot springs of Viconga that’s great for a relaxing and therapeutic bath. We set up camp here for the night.

Trail Note

4 – 5 hours trek / 10.3 km / elevation change (+430m / -395m)

Viconga (4,385m) / Cuyoc Pass (4,950m) / Huanacpatay (4,495m)

Today we start with a 3 hour climb till we later arrive at Cuyoc Pass at 4,950m with a grand panoramic view. Two mountains are very close to us on both sides; Pumarinri (5,465m) and Cuyoc (5,550). After a break to slide down a sandstone slope, we cross a plateau covered in Ancush plants that’s very typical of the area. The descent continues to where the Huanacpatay and Cuyoc Valleys meet (4,495m). From here, it’s a 525m climb to the San Antonio viewpoint at 5,020m that proves its worth with stunning views of numerous peaks and a pair of lakes of the eastern Cordillera Huayhuash. We return down and to our campsite with its views of the snow-capped Puscanturpa (5,447m) and Sueroraju (5,442m).

Trail Note

6 – 7 hours trek / 13.5 km / elevation change (+565 m / -455m)

Huanacpatay (4,495m) / Huayllapa (3,490m) / Huatiac (4,250 m)

We leave the campsite in an eastern direction via the Huanacpatay Valley. The trail continues along the right riverbank on a large plain and exits the valley, descending with a zig-zag trail where the river transforms into a waterfall that cascades down in giant steps. Later we continue with a mild descent to Huayllapa (3,490m) where there is the opportunity to top up with supplies. After a break, we ascend 2-3 hours via the Milo Valley to the plain of Huatiac at 4,250m; ideal for a campsite at the foot of mount Diablo Mudo (Silent Devil) (5,350m).

Trail Note

7 – 8 hours trek / elevation change (-1,005m / +760m)

Huatiac (4,250 m) / Tapush Punta (4,770m) / Susucocha Lake (4,740m) / Llaucha Punta (4,850m) / Jahuacocha Lake (4,050m)

A long day with two challenging passes, but after an energising breakfast we start the trek with an ascent to views of some Andean homes with their unique thatched roofs. The trails skirts the rocky slopes to the Tapush Punta Pass at 4,770m – a site with very distant panoramas. We descend via the Gaspapampa Valley and SusuCocha Lake (4,470m) with its diverse bird species, to 4,500m. The final ascent for the day is to Llaucha Punta Pass at 4,850m from where we can view some more of the Huayhuash peaks. The long descent is with a winding trail via the Huacrish Valley to Jahuacocha Lake at 4,050m. Our campsite has a dazzling view of the snow-capped peaks which change colour with sunset.

Trail Note

8 – 9 hours trek / elevation change (+520 / -270m / +350m / -800m)

Jahuacocha Lake (4,050m) / Llamac (3,250m) / Huaraz

Our final day in the Huayhuash and we leave the campsite trekking east via the Jahua Valley trail that continues along a water pipeline. Before descending, we enjoy our final panorama of the Huayhuash glittering in the distance and bidding us farewell. The descent is to the village of Llamac at 3,250m from where we return to Huaraz with private transport (5 hours).

Trail Note

4 – 5 hours / Elevation change  (-800m )

Price details coming soon

The program includes:

  • Professional and bilingual internationally certified mountain guide
  • All meals during the expedition
  • Private transportation round trip
  • Camping equipment
  • Cooking equipment
  • Entrance fees to Huascarán National Park
  • Cook & assistants
  • Donkeys and muleteers / mountain assistants

The program does not include:

  • Climbing equipment
  • Personal equipment
  • Personal expenses & tips
  • Travel Insurance
  • Items not mentioned above in “Includes”
No. of PersonsUS$ /person
80-.00
70-.00
60-.00

Route

Acclimatisation

It is important to do a few days of acclimatisation day treks before embarking on this stunning yet difficult trek.

Recommendations for Best Seasons

All year around. The best time is from mid-April to late September or early October.  April, May and June are the best months for lovers of flowers and green landscape. July through August are the best months for blue sky & also an excellent period for photographers (warm colours and clear blue skies are great!). From September to April you get a mixed sunny and pretty cloudy landscape.

Weather

The entire Cordillera Blanca has a semi-dry and semi-cold climate, with an average maximum temperature of 23.9° C (75.0° F) and a minimum of 1.1° C (33.98° F). The climate is very unpredictable, even in the dry season it can rain. During the days it can vary from hot to very frigid temperatures, included rain and strong winds or snow over 4800 meters above sea level. It usually starts getting cloudy more often in early September. October and November are the months when after 2-3pm you can count on afternoon showers.

**Note: List of required equipment for the trekking expedition. Please confirm with us which items are included in the price.

**For more equipment lists and the Equipment Rental Catalogue – click on EQUIPMENT

Trekking Gear

  • LED headlamp
  • Trekking poles
  • Trekking backpack
  • Day pack
  • Duffel bag

Camp & Cooking

  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Sleeping mattress
  • Tent
  • Kitchen/dining tent
  • Stove & gas/fuel
  • Cooking utensils
  • Expedition crates

Clothing

  • Trekking boots
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Fleece jacket
  • Down jacket
  • Rain/Hardshell jacket
  • Rain poncho
  • Light liner gloves
  • Hardshell/insulation gloves
  • Beanie/wool hat

Available for purchase  

*subject to availability

  • Headlamp
  • AA and AAA batteries
  • Water bottle
  • Water purification tablets
  • Cooking gas
  • Light liner gloves
  • Beanie/wool hat
  • Stainless steel flask
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